Wednesday, July 27, 2016

THERESA MAY: Time at Oxford (Updated Oct. 29, 2016)

Calling Sherlock.
Theresa May was born Oct. 1, 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, only child of Zaidee Mary Barnes (1928–1982) and Hubert Brasier (1917–1981).

Her father was a Church of England clergyman who was chaplain of an Eastbourne hospital and later vicar of the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Wheatley, near Oxford. 

May was educated primarily in the state sector but with a short spell at an independent Catholic school. At 13, she won a place at the former Holton Park Girls' Grammar School. She then attended Oxford where she studied geography at St Hugh's, graduating in 1977.

The current issue of Private Eye has a lead story about gossip writers trying find out about Mrs May’s time at Oxford. A potential source was a campaign pamphlet of 45 pages written by undergraduate  David Blair to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA, founded 1924). The source is believed to include self-serving articles for and against notables such as William Hague, Daniel Hannan, Jeremy Hunt and Sally Ullman (later Bercow).

Postscript 1, Aug. 11, 2016

The British Library, according to Ian Senior, has no copy in its catalog but the Bodleian and Trinity College allegedly do. Both these copies were reportedly searched for and found missing. Lord Gnome of Private Eye was correct in his report that no dirt about the undergraduate lives of Theresa (nee Brasier) and Philip May was to be found in the 1994 History of the Oxford University Conservative Association by David Blair. But he was entirely wrong when he asserted that a rare copy of this slender volume had "mysteriously gone missing" from the Trinity College Archive. The only mystery is why no one from Private Eye thought to check this erroneous detail by means of a email to Clare Hopkins, Trinity College Archivist.

Postscript 2, Oct. 29, 2016

I have since visited with Clare Hopkins in Oxford and have seen the 1994 History of OUCA. It is a slim volume indeed and I could personally add a lot of detail about the years 1962-65. There is nothing in it about the Oxford activities of Theresa May.

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